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Bluetongue Spreads Despite Vaccinations

24 July 2008

EU - Bluetongue is back. It has survived another winter in northern Europe, and now farmers are vaccinating livestock in a race against the biting midges that carry the virus.

The first cases of the disease, which affects ruminants, began to surface this month, with France so far reporting 260. Most are located along the front line of last year's outbreaks, suggesting that the epidemic is spreading into new territory despite France's compulsory vaccination policy.

In England, voluntary vaccination has been rolled out across the country from the south-east, where bluetongue arrived last year. The vaccination "front" has now reached Yorkshire in northern England, alarmingly close to the country's main sheep areas. The disease kills sheep but only makes cattle ill.

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Source: NewScientist


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